By Ed Runyan
Trumbull County commissioners will ask engineering and architectural companies to submit proposals to prepare the drawings and specifications for construction of a multipurpose building at the county engineer’s office property on North River Road.
The new building will house the Trumbull County Emergency Management Agency and Trumbull County Vehicle Maintenance Department.
Part of the money will come from a $740,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The rest will be borrowed through the sale of bonds, said Commissioner Frank Fuda.
Linda Beil, EMA director, said the agency needs to move out of its location on the second floor of the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport because it doesn’t meet FEMA standards to serve as an emergency-operations center.
Failing to meet FEMA standards could cause the county agency to lose its FEMA funding, Beil said.
An emergency-operations center is a location used during a prolonged crisis where officials can make decisions such as whether to establish a shelter, seek state or federal assistance, or call in help from nearby emergency personnel, Beil said.
The last time the county activated its emergency operations center was during the floods of 2003-04, but the tornadoes of 1985 are the best example of when such a facility comes into play, Beil said.
The current emergency operations center is the second-floor conference room at the airport, but it is not handicap-accessible and doesn’t provide adequate communications capabilities, Beil said.
The county’s vehicle-maintenance department on Panther Drive next to Warren G. Harding High School, needs to be replaced because the building there is in bad condition and costs a lot to maintain, Fuda said.
The total cost for the new building or just how long it will take to get it constructed are not known, but Fuda said it will happen “pretty quickly.”